Leawood’s Caroline Dupont had a pretty good freshman volleyball season for NCAA Division III Washington University in St. Louis.
All the Blue Valley North graduate did was earn Division III Freshman of the Year and Division III All-America first-team honors for the Bears.
She is just the second freshman in school history to earn first-team Division III honors and the first to be named Division III Freshman of the Year.
Dupont, a 6-foot-1 middle hitter, had a 3.02 kills per set and .351 hitting percentage to lead the team. She finished second on the team with 374 kills, 105 blocks and 35 service aces.
She was named to the all-tournament team in four tournaments, was the Division III national player of the week once and the UAA (University Athletic Association) Player of the Week four times.
The UAA has eight members from the states of Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio and New York.
But the former Mustang wasn’t going to accept all the praise.
“I would say my success was due to the great set of girls playing by my side,” she said. “We couldn’t have won the games we did without them, and I couldn’t have gotten the awards I was given without their help.”
She also praised head coach Luke Young and the rest of the coaching staff for making sure the team continued to strive to get better. The Bears finished the season with a 27-8 record.
“Although we had a few more losses than we would have liked, we never stopped getting better and we were a team to be feared,” she said.
What are the freshman’s biggest strengths in volleyball?
“My strength as a volleyball player is as an attacker,” she said. “I am able to get kills that give my team momentum. I did well at blocking and serving this season as well.”
Dupont said she wants to improve her consistency.
“I need to work on my consistency overall,” she said. “Specifically, with blocking and serving. I would also like to get better at placing the ball and being a smart attacker.”
Dupont was a three-sport star for the Mustangs in volleyball, basketball and soccer. Her BV North teams finished second at state in volleyball, third in basketball and second in soccer.
It was an easy decision to choose volleyball in college.
“I chose to play volleyball at Wash U. first because I loved the sport and knew I wanted to compete at a high level of play,” she said. “Second, I chose Wash U. because it has a great volleyball program and is every strong academically.”